Taking stock of Padres' Deadline options

July 30th, 2021

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres didn't get Joey Gallo, and now they won’t get Max Scherzer either, it seems. The Nationals' ace appears to be headed to the Dodgers in a blockbuster that also includes shortstop Trea Turner, though neither club has confirmed the deal.

That's two of San Diego's primary trade targets off the board within a span of about 24 hours. Several other targets remain, however, and Padres general manager A.J. Preller is still expected to be active in the hours leading up to the Trade Deadline.

The Padres made offers to Texas for Gallo and to Washington for Scherzer, according to sources. Neither of those offers ever came to fruition, and the latter stings in a big way. Sources said San Diego made a serious push for Scherzer.

Missing out on Scherzer hurts for two obvious reasons: First, the Padres' need for starting pitching is dire. Second, with Scherzer joining a division rival, San Diego -- who hoped to have him on the mound -- could instead end up facing him in the National League Wild Card Game or in the following round. (Not to mention, they’ll be facing a generational shortstop talent like Turner as well.)

Not to be deterred, the Padres' goals remain the same ahead of Friday’s 1 p.m. PT Deadline. They're still in search of pitching help, and sources said Preller has irons in several fires. Minnesota's José Berríos, who owns a 3.48 ERA across 20 starts this season and is under team control through 2022, is a primary target.

Other starting pitchers are on the table as well, sources said, and the Padres might not stop at one. As things stand, Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove are the only locks to pitch in a postseason rotation.

The Padres are also actively searching for bullpen help, and sources said a splash for a big-time back-end reliever remains possible.

As for their offense, the pursuit of Gallo was a unique circumstance. (Gallo ended up being dealt to the Yankees.) The Padres feel their lineup is fairly complete already, but wouldn’t rule out a bench upgrade.

The clock is ticking.